Diary

DCCC to Republicans: Stop ‘Playing Politics’ with the Troops

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Friday it will launch a series of district-specific radio ads targeting vulnerable Republicans who voted against President Obama’s controversial war supplemental package.

As a matter of national security in years past Republicans have shown tremendous support for similar measures, however last week they voted en bloc against the $106 billion appropriations bill.

The Democratic Leadership and the DCCC would be content to let the public believe Republicans were “playing politics” with the troops, having voted against the emergency legislation out of pure spite for the president.

Over 100 Republicans voted for the bill when the first iteration—before the $83.5 billion bill mushroomed—reached the floor of the House several weeks ago. But after the Democratic Leadership rewrote the bill to include billions in funding for lawmakers’ pet projects, including an additional $5 billion in funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), virtually all Republicans defected, accusing the Democrats of lacing the emergency war-funding bill with billions of extraneous pork barrel spending.

If a global bailout is to be to debated and funded, it surely does not belong in a war appropriations bill. Democrats know this, just like they knew bailout-averse Republicans would, instinctively, vote against any such measure. And then they realized they had the upper-hand, they held the coveted “you’re-playing-politics-with-the-troops” card.

Calculating Democrats put a hold on the appropriations bill as Speaker Nancy Pelosi scrambled to corral enough votes to pass the bill without Republicans and anti-war Democrats. They did, and their disingenuous strategy to score political points—at the cost of our troops’ safety—was set afoot.

Among the Republicans targeted are Congressmen Ken Calvert (CA-44), Charlie Dent (PA-15), Jim Gerlach (PA-06), Dan Lungren (CA-03), Mike McCaul (TX-10), and Lee Terry (NE-02).

As a testament to their lack of due diligence, they also set their sights on a retired U.S. Army National Guard Colonel, Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02).

Military service in Congressman Wilson’s family doesn’t stop there. His oldest son Alan McCrory Wilson, a major in the Army National Guard, spent a year in Iraq. Addison Wilson, Jr., a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, is a lieutenant in the Navy. Wilson’s third son, Julian Dusenbury Wilson, is a captain in the Army National Guard. And his youngest, Hunter Taylor Wilson, is a current student at Clemson University – where he is, fancy that, a member of the Army ROTC and Army National Guard.

Now if there ever were a legislator who would be chiefly concerned with funding the military—thereby ensuring his own family has the resources they need—Congressman Wilson would be that legislator. And if there ever were a party who would be chiefly concerned with scoring political points by jeopardizing the military, the Democratic Party would be it.

Shame on you, Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Chris Van Hollen. House Republicans were prepared to, and indeed did, pass a troop funding bill. Giving the military the resources they needed was not atop your agenda. As details of your strategy have fleshed themselves out, it has become increasingly apparent you were principally concerned with scoring disingenuous political points.

Shame on you, indeed.

Cross-posted at Skepticians.com.